Matters of accreditation for the UG law programme do not vest in the legal domain of the UG Registrar

Dear Editor,

With reference to the UG Registrar’s rebuttal of my warning that the law programme could lose its accreditation, reported in KN of July 26, I am amazed and seriously perturbed at Mr Alexander’s cavalier and dismissive treatment of such a tremendously traumatic issue to every present and future holder of the UG LLB degree.

Is he really contending that UG can undermine its admissions’ criteria in a number of cases in an accredited programme, such as the UG law programme, and fail to correct this problem appropriately without any impact on its accreditation?  Further, to describe my warning on this issue as being “utter nonsense” reveals a dangerous contempt for the rights and interests of innocent third parties.

Is he speaking on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, himself or UG?  If he is speaking on behalf of UG, who gave him the authority to do so?  Is it encompassed in Statute 7 of the Acts and Statutes of UG?  Or is the Registrar acting on a ‘frolic of his own’?  Certainly, the Registrar cannot be purporting to speak on behalf of the accrediting bodies concerned – he has no legal jurisdiction to do so.

The point I am making here is so obviously simple that it may have slipped the complex mind of the Registrar.

It is this: it is really a matter for the UWI Law Faculty and the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to speak authoritatively on issues of accreditation.

Such matters do not vest in the legal domain of the Registrar and I am sure that both the UWI Law Faculty and the CLE do not share this most absurd and irresponsible opinion of the Registrar.  In fact, I am a member of the UWI Law Faculty Board and I have direct and personal knowledge that its esteemed Dean most definitely does not share the view of the Registrar.

At the last meeting of the UWI Law Faculty, I had reported to the Board that I was seeking to get pertinent officials of UG to adequately resolve the problems relating to the many breaches of the admissions’ criteria of the UG law programme and that I will report same as soon thereafter.

Do I now have the Registrar’s answer on behalf of UG, ie, that it is all “utter nonsense”?

It must always be remembered that automatic admission to the law schools is determined under the 1970 Agreement by the determination of the CLE that the LLB degree in question is equivalent to the UWI LLB degree. This equivalency, in turn, depends upon us having equivalent conditions to UWI upon which our LLB degree is awarded.

One of the salient factors upon which this equivalency is based is the strict satisfaction of equivalent admissions’ criteria.  Another important factor has to do with the quality of the qualifications of our teaching staff at both the undergraduate LLB level and the postgraduate level.  There are also other criteria.

Yours faithfully,
Prof Calvin Eversley
Head
UG Law Department

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